President’s Column 7 June 2019

Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

Last week on your behalf I welcomed the Morrison Ministry, particularly those ministers and assistant ministers in portfolios encompassing local government, road safety and freight, regional tourism, and waste reduction.

This week it was the Opposition’s turn, now led by new Leader Anthony Albanese, to whom I have also written to extend the best wishes of local government.

Mr Albanese will be supported by Jason Clare as Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness.

Catherine King has been named the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, while Senator Carol Brown is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Tourism.

Andrew Giles’ portfolios include being Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, and Senator Murray Watt is the Shadow Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia.

Joel Fitzgibbon is the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources, with Terri Butler the Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water.

On your behalf, I look forward to meeting Mr Albanese and his new shadow ministry to ask for their assistance in advancing the needs of local government.

We are now in the final week of preparations for ALGA’s National General Assembly which will be held in Canberra from 16 to 19 June. It will be immediately preceded by the Regional Development and Cooperation Forum on 16 June and I am delighted to say that registration numbers for these events are ahead of last year and if you have not already registered you should.

I am also delighted to announce that the Assembly will be opened and addressed by the Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure, and we will also hear from the new Minister for Local Government, Mark Coulton, at both the Assembly and the Regional Forum. We have also invited the Shadow Minister Jason Clare to address the Forum and the Assembly as well.

With the new ministry and shadow ministry settled, it’s time to step up the second stage of our Fairer Share campaign to get a better funding deal from the Commonwealth. Please look at the campaign’s updated advocacy kit and contact your local members and senators so we can educate the 46th Parliament on the essential role local government plays in our community.

Please do not forget to thank your local member and the Commonwealth in your budget announcements and annual reports for your Financial Assistance Grants, and highlight what they can do to help communities achieve with a fairer share of federal funding.

Have you registered for the NGA? See you there!

David O’Loughlin

ALGA President